5 head coaching candidates if Bears fire Matt Nagy originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After the Bears latest loss to the Ravens, all fans want to think about is the team’s future. Is Justin Fields the franchise quarterback they’ve been waiting for? Will the defense still have enough in the tank when the offense finally catches up? And who will be leading the team going forward?
Judging from the “Fire Nagy” chants that rang throughout Soldier Field on Sunday, it feels safe to say most fans don’t want the current head coach to stick around. But who’s out there that could be a viable replacement?
For what it’s worth, the Bears have never fired a coach midseason. If they didn’t fire Marc Trestman amidst a season that featured offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitting to throwing Jay Cutler under the bus to reporters, then it doesn’t seem likely that the McCaskeys will tell Ryan Pace to fire Nagy now. While we haven’t heard from Pace since the beginning of the season, he and Nagy have been in such lockstep throughout their time together that it seems unlikely Pace would make the move on his own either.
Regardless, if the Bears were to make the move, either now or in the offseason, here are some names that could be on their next hire wish list:
Greg Roman - Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator
Roman was the man tasked with creating an offense around Lamar Jackson in 2019, and the results speak for themselves. Jackson won MVP that season, and the Ravens have featured one of the most exciting offenses ever since, even without a ton of weapons at the other skill positions. Developing Fields is the most important thing for the franchise moving forward and Roman already has shown he can design an offense for a burgeoning star to succeed.
Nathaniel Hackett - Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator
If you can’t beat ‘em, hire one of ‘em away. That could be the thought process with Hackett, who has overseen Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ dynamic offense since 2019. While Davante Adams truly blossomed the year before Hackett arrived, he did run the show for Adams’ All-Pro season last year. He’s also shown flexibility by putting more of a focus on Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and the run game this season.
Byron Leftwich - Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator
You could say it’s easy designing an offense around Tom Brady and the Bucs’ glut of weapons. But bringing a bunch of superstars together doesn’t always work, and Leftwich has helped Bruce Arians put together arguably the most complete offense in the NFL. As the Bears develop Fields, it wouldn’t hurt having a guy who just worked with Brady either.
Josh McDaniels - New England Patriots offensive coordinator
There’s a chance McDaniels stays in New England to remain Bill Belichick’s heir apparent. But the Bears should still kick the tires on McDaniels after the wonderful job he’s done developing Mac Jones into the top rookie quarterback of 2021. McDaniels has also put together a strong running game featuring Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson as primary ball carriers and Brandon Bolden catching passes out of the backfield.
Todd Bowles - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator
Bowles has already had a crack at being a head coach, with the Jets from 2015-18. It didn’t go well, but honestly what has gone well for the Jets over the past decade? Since then he’s created one of the most dominant defenses in the league, and had his fingerprints all over the Bucs’ Super Bowl win last season.